Cristiano Ronaldo was so “obsessed” with football that Alex Ferguson used to order him off the training field as he honed his talents.
Ronaldo joined United from Sporting CP at the age of 18 and has gone on to become one of the all-time greats, winning the Ballon d’Or five times.
The Portugal captain sensationally returned to Old Trafford in August after prolific spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, becoming the LaLiga giants’ record all-time goalscorer.
Ferguson was a father figure for Ronaldo following his move to United as a teenager, but the legendary former United manager had to send him home to save his legs early in his first spell at the club.
Ex-United midfielder Nicky Butt revealed in the foreword for new book ‘Viva Ronaldo’: “Ronaldo was to emerge as a genius but it wasn’t just about his talents that took him right to the top.
“It is often said that certain players worked hard, stayed behind for some extra training or to practise their techniques, but with Cristiano it was total dedication, total commitment, and total hard work.
“He didn’t have a God given physique, it wasn’t given, he worked hard to achieve it. He actually came to us as a skinny, scrawny young kid, and worked hard to get that physique over many, many years.
“He had to reach a new level of physical strength because the Premier League demanded it, and he had plenty of opportunity to see at first-hand how physical and tough it can be when he was up against, even in training, the likes of Roy Keane and Jaap Stam.
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